Live Export Adjournment Speech

This past Sunday was “Ban Live Exports International Awareness Day.”

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, thousands of people banded together online to voice their opposition to this cruel industry, which tortures and kills millions of animals every year.

Australia’s continued involvement in the live export industry is a national and international embarrassment. The views of the community are clear. 75% of Australians want to stop the live animal export trade.

This is because they have seen expose after expose, showing the shocking conditions in which sheep and cattle are kept on these ships. They have seen how animals are packed so tightly they can’t lie down and rest, or access food and water.  They have seen animals suffering from extreme heat, exhaustion, rough seas, poor ventilation, and surrounded by millions of litres of untreated waste. They know that many of these animals will die along the way from heat stress, broken bones, dehydration and other illnesses -- while the “lucky” survivors are painfully slaughtered when they arrive at their destination.

For just a moment, put yourself in these animals‘ position. Imagine it was you on one of these ships, on your way to die. It is terrifying on a scale that is hard to comprehend. And yet, in Australia, it is entirely legal to do this to sentient animals that feel pain and suffering in the same way we do.

A few weeks ago, six crew members on a live export ship in Fremantle tested positive for coronavirus. This meant a planned shipment of 50,000 sheep to Kuwait was delayed.

In response, the exporter – who already has a notorious record on animal welfare – submitted an application to the Government to export the sheep on a delayed timeframe, departing after 1 June.

Just 2.5 months ago, the Government introduced regulations banning live export ships from travelling to the Middle East after 1 June, recognising that Northern Hemisphere summer is the hottest and most dangerous time for animals to travel.

After initially rejecting the application for an exemption, the Government back flipped 10 days later, happy to break their own rules and risk many of these 50,000 sheep being boiled alive in the blistering heat.

A last minute injunction sought by Animals Australia was sadly unsuccessful.

This is truly disgusting conduct from a Government that has shown time and time again that it will always put profit above the suffering of a living being.

But the people of Australia will not stop fighting for these animals. The Animal justice Party will not stop fighting for these animals. To every single animal forced into the brutal live export trade: I see you, I hear you, and I will continue to fight for you.

Live Animal Export will end. Our fight is to make that sooner rather than later.